Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

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#1 ludak21  Icon User is offline

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Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 21 June 2009 - 03:03 PM

Hi everyone!

Lately I've been thinking of building a Wizardry like game, for one those are my favorite type of games, and no one seems to want to make them any more, so I think building one would be fun and as well sellable to other old school rpg fans like my self. Now, the game I am envisioning should be fairly basic as far visuals are concerned, basicaly I would like to have a 3D dungeon (doors, stairs, walls would be about it), nothing else would need to be done in 3D, everything else would be done with 2D drawn art work (so for example you enter a certain room, and a drawing pops up of an enemy, and battle procceds showing demage done, attacks, etc, all being text based stuff). Now the kicker is I don't know much of anything about programing, but I did menage to make a half decent Neverwinter Nights mod, and that used C++ I belive.. and with help of forums I was able to figure things out as far scripting is concerned (mainly through copying and pasting). Now I am considering two things (not worried about art, I can do that my self.)


1.) I've been thinking of hiring a programer to basicaly build me a game editor with all the code (something like Neverwinter Nights editor), where I could build levels, modify stats and import my artwork. How much would this cost? Is it even a plausable option?

2.) The second is obviusly to build everything my self... and I think I could learn programing for a game like this if I knew how to get started, what would you guys suggest as a starting point... as I said I have zero knowledge about programing (I do know html, which doesn't count I think).

Thanks in advance for any answers/suggestions.

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#2 crazyjugglerdrummer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 21 June 2009 - 03:12 PM

Hiring someone to build you a game editor, hmmmm. That'd be a big project and they'd want to build it for more than just you. You might be able to find one online, I wouldn't look into hiring someone. It would involve SDL or some graphics library for the sprites and stuf.

As to where to start, learn ALL THE C++ YOU CAN. Game developers need an inside out understand of the language if they're ever really going to go anywhere with it. Start developing the game once you have some basic skills, but don't stop learning C++, it'll help a lot.

not trying to toot my own horn, but you might find this interesting as its sort of what you described (in basic form)
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#3 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 21 June 2009 - 03:15 PM

Hi Ludak21

This sounds like an interesting idea, as far as the programming experience needed you may need to get a bit more experience.

How exactly would you be presenting the combat side of things, do you mean like the battles in final fantasy games i.e turn based but with 3d backgrounds?

Your looking at a lot of things to keep track of, which battle scenes to render, which enemy to load, HP and MP stats.

Something a bit easier may be a good place to start, maybes you could try just writing some text based adventure games with some combat and then when you get a feel for it try to get some visuals implemented.
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#4 ludak21  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 21 June 2009 - 03:36 PM

Thanks for responses guys...
I've attached a screenshot for the combat question.
Basically you have a static drawing of a monster/background (no 3D at all)
and combat plays out via text.. turn based...you select which attack you want... one of your characters hits... demage given shows up, all text based. I was thinking the combat encounters would be randomly generated (so on dungeon one you could get a combat encounter with one of the 4 types of monsters, for example) The only 3D would be the dungeon, and that would be very basic maze type of dungeon that could use all the same texture for walls (the textures would just change in different levels to break visual monotomy), but the focus would mainly be old school rpg gameplay and cool moster art. I would also have a town outside the dungeon, and this would all be static art/text based as well, a place where your party of characters could sell/heal/train skills/get quests/,etc.

The reason why I think I could build this is because (I assume anyway) that the hardest part would be building the code that interacts stats/combat/demage/items/spells. And that's why I was thinking some could do this for me (provided it wouldn't cost a fortune) and I could handle the rest..... or just start learning things on my own. That tutorial looks good crazyjugglerdrummer as well.

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#5 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 21 June 2009 - 06:26 PM

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Now the kicker is I don't know much of anything about programing, but I did menage to make a half decent Neverwinter Nights mod, and that used C++ I belive
From Google, you used NWScript, not C++. A good hint that you didn't use C++ is that you talk about scripting, while C++ programs are compiled. There are some basic similarities (for example, infix mathematical expressions, not prefix like say, Scheme). But they are very different otherwise.

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I've been thinking of hiring a programer to basicaly build me a game editor with all the code (something like Neverwinter Nights editor), where I could build levels, modify stats and import my artwork. How much would this cost? Is it even a plausable option?
Plausible? Depends on your budget. It better be big. Imagine if you wanted to purchase a custom made car. But this is a car where craftsmanship follows practices from the dark ages. Everyone handcrafts everything. So, the screws are handcrafted. The metal alloys are researched and made, etc. What kind of cost do you think will be incurred in just developing such a car? And then add the markup in profit for someone competent to do that.

Actually, I'm being a bit unfair. A smart developer over a period of time can implement what you want. But it still takes a bit of time. And because you are providing no requirements on your own, that developers needs to do his own investigating and design something usable. Money money money. If you're asking, you can't afford it? You can throw out request for bids on topcoder, etc., and talk with people who are interested, I suppose. You're welcome to try.

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The second is obviusly to build everything my self... and I think I could learn programing for a game like this if I knew how to get started, what would you guys suggest as a starting point... as I said I have zero knowledge about programing (I do know html, which doesn't count I think).
No, HTML doesn't count. In fact, your modding experience counts more. To an extent. The best starting point is to focus on learning. After some good amount of experience, you can revisit this idea of a Wizardry game.

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Now, the game I am envisioning should be fairly basic as far visuals are concerned, basicaly I would like to have a 3D dungeon (doors, stairs, walls would be about it), nothing else would need to be done in 3D, everything else would be done with 2D drawn art work
While it's fairly basic compared to games being marketed these days, for a complete beginner, it's not something easily done. Unless you have someone holding your hand every step of the way (but then you aren't really programming it).

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the hardest part would be building the code that interacts stats/combat/demage/items/spells
The hardest part will be designing anything. How should a wall be represented? It's easy to come up with very high level human level ideas, but when you think about representations in bits and bytes, it's pretty hard. What are the implications of one kind of approach. Another? Where do you even start?

I recommend starting with Python or with C#. The reason is that they are the easiest to start learning with. Furthermore, the learning curve to start using third party libraries and writing non-trivial programs is significantly lower than other languages. I mentioned above the idea of building a car, but designing your own screws, metal alloys, etc. It sounds a bit ridiculous. Well, you want to minimize that redesign as much as possible, and C++ is not a good idea along those lines. Python and C# provide much higher level logical abstractions (so less rework on your end) and have very good libraries (already provided designs and code) to use.
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#6 ludak21  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 21 June 2009 - 09:59 PM

Thanks for your post.

I guess the idea of hiring someone to just do the "math" for me is a pipe dream then?

See, I thought most game developers build editors first and then build the game (hence a lot of pc games come with moding tools), but I guess I thought wrong. And I defenitly would provide the developer with specifics concerning stats and how long turns/demage/stats would work.

So would you guy/s suggest buying such things as as this: http://www.garagegames.com/ (Tourqe 3D Development Package) as the easiest way to get started, or maybe look in to some other free/non free game engine kits? Any recommendations for great "kits" for newbies with big ideas?

This post has been edited by ludak21: 21 June 2009 - 10:19 PM

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#7 crazyjugglerdrummer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:46 PM

google it. There's tons of different types of stuff, darkgdk, sdl, etc. The more of a kit you use, the less programming you're actually doing and learning, but don't let that discourage you.

IMHO the math would be the easy part and the images would be much harder. :D
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#8 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 22 June 2009 - 10:16 PM

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So would you guy/s suggest buying such things as as this: http://www.garagegames.com/ (Tourqe 3D Development Package)
I can't really recommend Torque and various other game engines, not because they are bad, but simply because I don't know enough about them. They definitely do get recommended though on other forums. Another one recommended often, I recall off the top of my head, is Unity 3D. Definitely looks very slick and I was impressed by a demo I saw of it.

That said, for basic visuals, you may find such a strong game engine overkill. It's quite awkward. Getting something for simpler visuals is hard, so you spend money for something that does more than you need. However, if you do choose to pursue making bigger and better games with better graphics, that investment in a good game engine will come in very handy. It sounds like you can afford the cost for a personal license, so definitely do consider engines.

I generally give advice to people who are set on pursuing a longer term learning process and would rather focus on free options. So free game engines like Ogre and Irrlicht are worth looking at. However, notably, they aren't as beginner friendly as something like Torque. Not that they are obscure, on the contrary they have good communities, for various reasons getting the most out of them means you are comfortable somewhat with software development.

I'll throw out my advice as if you were asking only for free options as a longer term developer, because I think it's still applicable, even though other paid-for options may be more favorable. To any beginner programmer, I almost always recommend starting with Python or with C#. They are both excellent programming languages, the learning curve tends to be easier with these two (relative to other options), and for budding game developers, they have good options. Python has packages like PyGame, Panda3D, and Pyglet (I like what Panda3D offers in particular). C# has XNA.

You can't start making your idea from day one, but the learning curve is smaller than other options making them ideal starting points. If you have a bit of time to spare, it might be worth learning a bit of Python and seeing how comfortable you feel with programming Python. Then continue learning and eventually grab Panda3D or PyGame and start developing your game. You're burning time either way (you still have to do programming with a paid for game engine), so I think this is a sensible strategy to getting started.

There's no outstanding easiest, and recommendations tend to be biased towards personal favorites (can you guess what I have a bias towards?). Sorry I can't stamp one product with a "best" or "easiest" stamp. There isn't one, and it would be irresponsible to so carelessly push one particular product.

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I guess the idea of hiring someone to just do the "math" for me is a pipe dream then?
It's not a good idea, that's for certain. Even if you found an affordable option, it's unlikely you will be satisfied with the results. You are better off plunking down cash on a tested and well known option like Torque and Unity and so on.

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See, I thought most game developers build editors first and then build the game
There isn't a set way, and it's not necessarily that they are independent of one another. Development isn't linear. You revisit and improve and redesign and fix. Side by side development of editor and game seems a bit more of a reasonable statement.

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And I defenitly would provide the developer with specifics concerning stats and how long turns/demage/stats would work.
Certainly, but you still have to negotiate the lower level details. The computer has no concept of stats, turns, and damage. Some kind of design and model that can effectively represent these concepts, and the algorithms to operate on those models: that has to be done.
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#9 ludak21  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 23 June 2009 - 12:13 AM

Thanks very much!

You do bring a great point I didn't think off, that I probably would be overpaying as well, I don't even want pixel shading or fancy 3D effects, infact these type of graphics would be just fine
Attached Image
(I belive those older games weren't even 3D, just made an illusion of it?)

And to be honest I guess I am looking for an "easy way", to learn only as much as I need to make this game, so that's why those kits look so great, I understand where you are coming from about not wanting to recommend anything as the "best", but I would love a push in a certain direction instead of having to explore 100's of different options. But I will defenitly look in to Panda and C# since those seem to be the most suggested.

This post has been edited by ludak21: 23 June 2009 - 12:16 AM

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#10 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 23 June 2009 - 06:28 AM

View Postludak21, on 23 Jun, 2009 - 01:13 AM, said:

Thanks very much!

You do bring a great point I didn't think off, that I probably would be overpaying as well, I don't even want pixel shading or fancy 3D effects, infact these type of graphics would be just fine
Attachment attachment
(I belive those older games weren't even 3D, just made an illusion of it?)

And to be honest I guess I am looking for an "easy way", to learn only as much as I need to make this game, so that's why those kits look so great, I understand where you are coming from about not wanting to recommend anything as the "best", but I would love a push in a certain direction instead of having to explore 100's of different options. But I will defenitly look in to Panda and C# since those seem to be the most suggested.


You are right, they weren't what we would consider 3D today. They were perspective drawings, like you would do on paper. Things in the back were scaled to make them appear smaller.

This would be a nice project to do in C#/XNA. Both are free from Microsoft. There is a pinned thread at the top of the page where you can get XNA 3.1. You can get Visual C# 2008 Express Edition from: http://www.microsoft.com/express
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#11 Fib  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 23 June 2009 - 09:23 AM

Hi ludak21

Your idea sounds great. I would like to encourage you to pursue your idea and try your best to finish it. You should definitely start designing it, like drawing out what the enemies/monsters will look like, what the dungeons will look like, character stats and items, etc.

But before you start coding it, I would suggest you to atleast learn the basics of a programming language. There are plenty of people in this thread that suggested some very good languages to start out with(c#, python, c++). Reading online tutorials on the basics is a great place to start because there is a lot more to programming than you may think. If you have some spare cash(which it sounds like you do), I would suggest picking up a beginners book of one of the languages listed above. Then you could find a book on beginning game programming so that you can learn some of the code that you may not learn in a beginning programming book. Like drawing spites, sprite animation, adding sound and music, keyboard/mouse input, ect.

There are plenty of these books at amazon for fairly cheap
http://www.amazon.co...%23+programming
http://www.amazon.co...hon+programming
http://www.amazon.co...%2B+programming
http://www.amazon.co...ame+programming

I suggest these things because even if you get a free/paid for game engine, you will still need to know the basics of programming and the language the engine uses. Unless you use something like Game Maker, which I think is all drag and drop.

I hope you continue learning and making your game. There is a lot of satisfaction to be had in finishing a self made game :)

I hope this helps!!
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#12 ludak21  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:38 PM

Thanks for suggestions everyone.

XNA seems like the most "accesable" to get in to from my limited researching of everyone's suggestions.. there is even a book optly named (Rpg Programing Using the Xna Game Studio 3.0) which I am trying to track down: http://www.amazon.ca...g...7431&sr=8-1

Also if anyone here feels like they would have fun working on this project (obviusly knowledge of older computer rpg's would be important), I am profesional graphic designer with illustration experience so I am confident I can do some decent artwork/graphic work, and I'd split 50/50 with whatever $$$ is made from sales at the end. This would be "no time limits set" type of thing, that I plan doing on the side, so there would defenitly be no rushing or deadlines, so if someone here would like to partner up, just let me know.

Again thanks everyone, and I am guessing since I'll probably be making this on my own you guys will be seeing a lot more of me here. ;)

This post has been edited by ludak21: 24 June 2009 - 10:47 PM

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#13 Fib  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 25 June 2009 - 06:42 AM

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I am profesional graphic designer with illustration experience so I am confident I can do some decent artwork/graphic work


I am just curious. Do you have any examples you could show us of your artwork? If not, then no prob. Like I said, I am just curious :)
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#14 HoverHell  Icon User is offline

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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 27 September 2009 - 06:08 PM

I might be a little late here, but still…

If you want to build a classic wizardry-style game, and you want the game, not business (spending quite a bit of money and then hoping you would get at least something in return), then you might want to choose FLOSS-style model of development. Which means you shouldd start by gathering interested people, so at least someone will help with all the different parts of the game, and follow by “release early, release often” way so anyone might help with it.

Although I myself not really into game development, so I'm not sure where I would be able to help (besides testing, of course), but I would really like to see something new and revitelized of wizardry-style games :)
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Re: Wondering about dificulty to build a Wizardry like game.

Posted 03 June 2010 - 09:08 AM

View Postludak21, on 21 June 2009 - 02:03 PM, said:

Hi everyone!

Lately I've been thinking of building a Wizardry like game, for one those are my favorite type of games, and no one seems to want to make them any more, so I think building one would be fun and as well sellable to other old school rpg fans like my self. Now, the game I am envisioning should be fairly basic as far visuals are concerned, basicaly I would like to have a 3D dungeon (doors, stairs, walls would be about it), nothing else would need to be done in 3D, everything else would be done with 2D drawn art work (so for example you enter a certain room, and a drawing pops up of an enemy, and battle procceds showing demage done, attacks, etc, all being text based stuff). Now the kicker is I don't know much of anything about programing, but I did menage to make a half decent Neverwinter Nights mod, and that used C++ I belive.. and with help of forums I was able to figure things out as far scripting is concerned (mainly through copying and pasting). Now I am considering two things (not worried about art, I can do that my self.)


1.) I've been thinking of hiring a programer to basicaly build me a game editor with all the code (something like Neverwinter Nights editor), where I could build levels, modify stats and import my artwork. How much would this cost? Is it even a plausable option?

2.) The second is obviusly to build everything my self... and I think I could learn programing for a game like this if I knew how to get started, what would you guys suggest as a starting point... as I said I have zero knowledge about programing (I do know html, which doesn't count I think).

Thanks in advance for any answers/suggestions.


An old TSR game called Unlimited Adventurers was basically as you describe. The battles were overhead D&D tactical battles and they used D&D battle rules, but basically 3d maze maps...
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